When Jim Maurino and I told each other, "you can't make this stuff up," about West Seneca East's 17-14 victory over West Seneca West, here's why:
** West Seneca East's victory in the series was its first since 1994, breaking West's win streak of 14.
The coach of East in '94 was Tom Jackson, who is a retiree back working in the East school as a lifeguard.
"He's a retired phys-ed teacher back in building as a lifeguard, and he was working [Friday]," said Maurino. "He said, "I was last coach to beat them.' And here he is, out of coaching, retired from teaching -- that's how long ago it was since we beat them."
** The game-winning field goal with :04 left was the first successful field goal of the season.
And it came off the foot of a foreign exchange student, Max Mueller of Germany, who is in his first year playing American football.
So he played soccer, right? Nope -- he's a swimmer.
"It's his first year ever seeing the game, basically," said Maurino. "He just walks out on to our practice on Aug. 18 and says he wants to play American football. Literally. he walks out there to our first practice with his host parent.
"Our first question was, "Can you kick?' "
They made him a kicker, and he did "OK on PATs" said Maurino. His only other field goal attempt, a 30-yarder against Cheektowaga, wasn't close.
"We stuck with him, and he came through when we needed him."
** You could throw in that West was seeking its first win of the season after feeling the brunt of not only a ultra-tough Class AA South schedule but a nonleague season opener at Sweet Home.
The Indians have played all of their games against teams that were -- or would be -- ranked in the large school top 10.
"When we got the helmet presented to us at the end, the kids brought it over to the crowd, it was great," said Maurino. "It was a very well played game, the sportsmanship was amazing between the kids. West played their hearts out, just like they've done all year long against good competition. That [Mike] Kus is an amazing athlete."